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Elephant Room

This unusual magic show with a comic sensibility at St. Ann's Warehouse is a truly delightful experience. logo
Daryl Hannah, Louie Magic, and Dennis Diamond
in Elephant Room
(© Pavel Antonov)
Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford, and Geoff Sobelle's inventive new show, Elephant Room, now at St. Ann's Warehouse, is both a send-up and celebration of the world of magic. In fact, the show's tag line, "Three magicians. One show. Zero boring stuff" sums up the content and comedic sensibility of the 75-minute show, expertly directed by Paul Lazar, pretty concisely.

The three magicians (Dennis Diamond, Louie Magic, and Daryl Hannah) look as if they just stepped out of a Las Vegas lounge act as they make their dramatic entrance onto the smoke-filled stage. The experience is underscored by power-chord-driven songs blasted through the house speakers to drive home the tongue-and-cheek cheesiness.

The show actually begins before the lights go down. An amusing note on the inside of the program welcomes the audience to the show while encouraging us to look up and take in the theater's surroundings (configured auditorium style with a large and shiny curtain draping the stage) as well as fellow audience members. Staring is encouraged.

When the lights finally do dim and the curtains are pulled back, an elaborate yet tiny set is revealed. Sitting three feet off the ground on concrete blocks, "the elephant room" is a wood-paneled den of intricately decorated tackiness and a secret society of sorts for enterprising magicians like Diamond, Magic, and Hannah.

They address the audience and paint a picture of the immediate world around "Stan's Warehouse" as they call it before delving into the magic, and soon the slight of hands and illusion unfold gradually and build organically.

The trio begins one trick simply in the line. One has an egg and the other two don't. They move their hands around fancifully and then stop. The egg has shifted to another person. They continue this for a while as the number of eggs builds until all three have one. Now the real fun begins. They bring out a frying pan, appear to heat it with sheer mind power, and proceed to cook the eggs in it. Diamond then adds cheese -- and voila, it's an omelet. Hannah, with his long blond hair metal mop, then invites a pretty girl on stage to eat it with him in one of many failed attempts to seduce the fairer sex.

Like the best kind of magic, it seems there is no logical explanation for the feats these three pull off. But it's not just the tricks, but the whimsy and humor that makes Elephant Room a truly delightful experience.

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